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Iowa Baptists designate next year for ‘Fervent Prayer & Evangelism’

AMES, Iowa (BP)–The year 2000 was designed as one of “Fervent Prayer and Evangelism” by messengers to the Baptist Convention of Iowa’s Nov. 5-6 annual meeting.
Messengers also voted to increase the percentage of their Cooperative Program receipts designated for Southern Baptist national and international by 1 percent, to 26 percent of an anticipated $393,000 in giving by the 11,300 members of the Iowa convention’s 95 churches and missions.
O. Wyndell Jones, the convention’s executive director-treasurer, issued the challenge for heightened prayer and evangelism which was approved by the 106 messengers attending the annual meeting at Grand Avenue Baptist Church in Ames.
The year of Fervent Prayer and Evangelism will relate to “all the areas of ministry of church development,” Jones said in his remarks to the convention, “in reaching people for Sunday school, in Cooperative Program [giving], in increasing [commitment] to missions, in church starts — in praying where we want to start and where we feel God starting churches and evangelism.”
Among specific steps, Jones called on Iowa Baptists to increase their Sunday school enrollment by 2,000 and for strong participation in the celebration of the 75th anniversary of the Cooperative Program’s founding in 1925.
“On four designated Wednesday nights during the year, all our churches will be encouraged and equipped to call fervent meetings of corporate prayer,” Jones said. “Throughout the year, all our churches will be encouraged and equipped to combine fervent prayer with all their evangelism strategies.”
Further, Jones said, “The Baptist Convention of Iowa will develop a statewide network of continuous prayer for revival and evangelism. Prayer walks and prayer meetings will be held in [each] area where new work is to be started throughout the year 2000. … The convention takes seriously the importance of accepting our role as people of God as we enter a new millennium and we pray for an awakening in the state of Iowa.”
In a resolution, messengers voted “to accept the challenge given by Dr. Jones to earnestly pray for revival in Iowa by encouraging our churches to pray without ceasing for a spiritual awakening in each town and county of this state.”
The resolution affirmed ongoing support and promotion of the Cooperative Program as a “vital arm of missionary outreach,” and it noted the messengers’ desire “to thank the churches, associations and state conventions of Arkansas, Mississippi, Tennessee and Missouri which have supported God’s work in Iowa through prayers, mission teams and financial aid. Their consistent assistance has been an enormous aid to Southern Baptists across Iowa.”
Re-elected as convention officers were Mike Carlson, pastor of Calvary Baptist Church, Indianola, president; Leo Endel, pastor of Southern Hills Baptist Church, Sioux City, first vice president; Mel Hooten, pastor of Grandview Heights Baptist Church, Dubuque, second vice president; and Terry Wilkinson, pastor of Harvest Baptist Church, Des Moines, recording secretary.
An overall budget of $1,546,994 was adopted, up from the current year’s budget of $1,436,497.
Next year’s annual meeting will be Oct. 27-28 at Cornerstone Baptist Church, Ankeny.

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